This Sunday morning I had the privilege to preach a sermon from Acts 8:1-8 which I entitled, Death Brings Life. The text pushes us to see that even in the midst of extreme trial, the gospel of Jesus Christ will advance.
I closed the message with an application point reminding us that our view of God (and his ways) is often in need of adjustment. We frequently like to think of God as being just like “me.” If I wouldn’t have done that, then surely God wouldn’t either. This type of thinking is always in need of correction. The pages of Scripture are full of things that God does that we wouldn’t do, and honestly are hard to understand. But we’re not always meant to understand his ways. In fact, we should expect that the perfect and holy Lord of the universe would do things a little different than we would. He tells us in Isaiah 55:8-9,
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
I ended the sermon quoting a hymn by William Cowper called, God Works In A Mysterious Way. This is a hymn of trust. It’s a hymn that exalts a sovereign God who seeks only the best for his children. Cowper was no stranger to suffering. But even in the midst of his darkest moments he is able to communicate some of the most treasured truths of the Christian faith. Even when we don’t understand what God is doing, we are called to trust Him because He promises that it’s all working out for our good. Here are the lyrics.
God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sov’reign will.
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.
His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flow’r.
Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.
May our trust in God continue to grow no matter the circumstances. Let our ultimate goal be his will, his plan, his glory.